Adverse biz impact of COVID-19 may drive firms to consider ‘workforce optimisation’

Adverse biz impact of COVID-19 may drive firms to consider ‘workforce optimisation’

Amid the growing concern over coronavirus pandemic, organisations in India anticipate negative impact on their business in the next six months, and for some the adverse impact may last longer, driving organisations to consider “workforce optimisation”, reveals a recent survey.


According to the COVID-19 India Readiness Survey conducted by Willis Towers Watson, 57 per cent of organisations expect a “moderate-to-large” negative impact on their business in the next  six  months, while 46 per cent expect this to last over a 12-months period.


“The tough economic conditions and anticipated business impact could drive organisations to consider workforce optimisation. Employers should take an emphatic and considerate approach and evaluate options such as staff redeployment, reduced working hours/days, long service leave, sabbatical, furlough, hiring freeze and voluntary pay cuts, before any serious consideration of a workforce reduction. In a post-COVID-19 world, some companies may need to re-hire and potential employees will factor in the consideration of organisational culture and how companies have treated their employees during the crisis”, said Rohit Jain, Head of India, Willis Towers Watson.


The survey found that 19 per cent expect an adverse impact to last over a two-year period, while only 5 per cent of organisations expect a positive business impact within the next 12 to 24 months.


As per the survey, almost one in three respondents believe that their 2020 annual bonus for executives and employees will be impacted, while 17 per cent expect an impact on their 2020 Long Term Incentive plans.


Moreover, 42 per cent of respondents have not taken a decision on salary increment budgets for this year, while 33 per cent indicated that performance appraisals and bonus pay-outs will happen as planned.


Also, 77 per cent said that there will be no deduction in salaries and 53 per cent responded that there have been no adjustments to the sales incentive pay-outs.


The survey also shed a light on work-from-home policy. It was observed 83 per cent of organisations plan to review their work-from-home policy, and 46 per cent indicated that they would reimburse employees the expenses incurred for setting up their home internet for work purposes.



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